“Man is more ape than many of the apes.” Friedrich Nietzsche
“He doth like the ape, that the higher he clymbes the more he shows his arse.”Francis Bacon, Sr.
Since most Americans (especially males) are blind to the rape culture that exists, there is little willingness or interest in discussing this subject. In my opinion, we should really be addressing our ape culture, because I see the rape culture that certainly exists to be a subset of our ape culture. Perhaps by being willing to explore and examine our ape culture, we can better understand why our rape culture exists and remains an unspoken problem in our society as well as around the globe.
So what is an ape culture? Over the many generations of humankind, might was right. Even though humans were less mightyful than all of the other species in the ape family, amongst their own species might was the crown prize. As the human race became more civilized, there has been an ongoing refining of the “might makes right” concept.
It was not long before pure brute strength was no longer sufficient for domination, although brawn still impresses most humans. Wily thinking and influential speech soon became strong factors in controlling the masses (think governments, religions, and now even businesses as methods for holding the reins of power). Recognizing the primal fear that all humans are still born with, we are still cruelly teased and manipulated by our leaders, extending well beyond physical frights and threats and now including such nebulous elements such as the loss of belongings and money.
Ironically, in these democratic times, it is typically the masses that select the brutes which will lead them, whether through votes or by mere acquiescence of the claims of self-anointed rulers. For a species that prides itself on its intelligence, it is rather ludicrous that we allow leaders to abuse us and determine which rights they feel is safe to grant us. We even go to extreme lengths to justify the terrible despots that have little to no compunction for lying to, stealing from, and demeaning the very people they claim to care for and about.
Maybe it just takes a few generations for it sink in that we are as worthy of a full life as we let our leaders live. Although it is tempting to point to outside nations and groups as having horrible leaders while extolling the imaginary virtues we bestow upon our own leaders, the sad truth of the matter is that it is impossible to identify any country or region that is truly interdependent and treats all individuals with equal respect and rights.
We are certainly slow learners, but once an idea has been planted in our minds and takes root, we do evolve to higher levels of intelligence and understanding. Less than 10 generations ago, the bulk of humanity was considered to be chattel, available for free labor or to be sold to another human within the elite circle. While slavery is now abhorred throughout most of the civilized world, most of us are still enslaved in jobs that entail the largest percentage of our waking hours.
In the meanwhile, the elite in our societies reap the rewards of wealth, able to influence public and private policies while remaining callous to the trials and sufferings of the masses they perceive as beneath them and, yes, less human. Or perhaps less worthy than themselves. Either way, the battle for control and dominance by the upper echelon of our social structure relies upon employing behaviors that reinforce the notion of power and superiority.
Because the subconscious reaction of most human beings is to avoid or submit to aggressive and threatening behavior, the elite apes symbolically pound their chest with their displays of wealth and class, continuing to demand their way. Once we get beyond this knee jerk response of immediate conciliatory and submissive reaction to appease the mighty, we can begin to lay new groundwork that truly strives for equality for all human beings, regardless of the locale of their birth, the color of their skin, the gender they were assigned upon birth, or the whacky religious beliefs which their parents and other authoritative persons instill in them while growing up.
And part of equality, much to the dismay of the ruling class, means a fairer sharing of all resources and necessities. Surprisingly, it is the masses that understand how to do without or with less than the desired comforts and luxuries of modern living, while those who have more also fear more the idea of loss. This is mainly because the poorer bulk of the population have learned that they can still survive and, yes, be happy with less. Of course, we all are constantly being mesmerized by the fantasy that more is better; it just means that reality leaves most of us with less rather than more and it simply is not worth moping through life because we do not have bigger houses, cars, toys, and other possessions.
SHORT SEGUE: Speaking of possessions, have you ever noticed that most people are as possessed by their possessions as much as they possess their possessions?
Sadly, in our modern and civilized times, we humans act neither modern nor civilized. We continue to accumulate our carefully selected and customized detritus and will often use any means to acquire this junk. This includes being immoral and unethical in business practices and relationships in order to build our own private junkyard of material items (and yes, in this sense money is also material). Because we shift into a mode of not thinking but instead reacting to the fable of more stuff = a better life, we often resort to apish behavior and actions to make sure we stay at the top of the junk pile. Our simian antics are easy to fall into, but the things we collect through such an attitude leaves us no happier than before. In fact, for most people, they more they rake in, they less happy they seem to be. You could call it our own black hole of misery.
Our ape culture promotes and encourages dominant and violent behaviors by rewarding those who excel at such aggression and selfishness. The idea of seizing what you desire at any given moment perfectly reflects the rape culture that we pretend does not exist. We rape our lands, oceans, and even arctic regions and justify these actions because they meet our imagined needs; using that twisted logic, is it a surprise that raping women is considered acceptable?
I find it particularly humorous that most of the people who reject the notion that we are evolved from apes, particularly those of a religious bent, support this ape culture and its dysfunctional behaviors and attitudes that continue to contribute to the cancerous societal problems that we seem unable to eradicate or even lessen. If we want to separate ourselves even more from our brother ape species, now is the time to throw off this ape culture and transform our culture into one that is more sensitive and caring than what it is now.
(originally posted on 6-26-17)